New Mark Commons, a 65-acre Rockville subdivision that began development in 1967, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The subdivision was conceived by Edmund J. Bennett, a Montgomery County native whose firm received over 35 national and local awards for innovative architectural techniques, building design and site planning. New Mark Commons was his first Planned Unit Development, intended to take advantage of Rockville’s Planned Residential Unit ordinance, adopted in 1964. Carderock Springs in Potomac, Bennett’s other major PUD, was granted National Register status in 2009.
Bennett’s death in March 2013 revived interest in his contribution to mid-century modern communities. The New Mark Commons Homes Association Board of Directors began discussing the National Register application that same year. According to the application: New Mark Commons, innovative in its time for combining clustered and free-standing houses within a rolling, wooded landscape, illustrated Bennett’s desire to “curb the evolution of the Maryland suburbs.”
The City of Rockville’s Historic District Commission was required to review, and make a recommendation on, the nomination to the Maryland Historical Trust Review Board. With support from the HDC and the Mayor and Council, the application was shepherded through the federal and state process and approved.
New Mark Commons subdivision is bounded by Maryland Avenue to the northwest, Argyle Street to the northeast, Monroe Street at the southeast and the Markwood subdivision to the southwest. Inclusion in the National Register is honorary and places no limitations on architectural changes to the community. However, a listing in the National Register can help properties qualify for certain types of historic preservation grant programs.